MLB Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: Gray throwing heat for sizzling A’s

(Clockwise from top left) Oakland's Sonny Gray, Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon, Cleveland's Michael Brantley and Miami's Garrett Jones are this week's hottest pitchers and hitters.

Some have slumped, while others have simmered. Here’s our weekly review of who’s running hot and cold around Major League Baseball.

Stats through May 22:


AL — Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics

Gray went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 12 strikeouts in starts against the Cleveland Indians on May 16 and Tampa Bay Rays on May 22. The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits in 14 innings in those appearances. The eight-inning outing against the Rays was his second longest of the season, behind a six-strikeout, complete-game shutout of the Texas Rangers on April 28. He won five of six decisions from April 6-May 16. Overall, he’s 5-1 with a 1.99 ERA this season.

NL — Alfredo Simon, Cincinnati Reds

Simon went 2-0 with a 0.61 ERA and 14 strikeouts in starts against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 16 and Washington Nationals on May 21. The right-hander allowed one run and 10 hits in 14 2/3 innings. He has recovered well after allowing eight runs and 13 hits in starts against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 4 and Colorado Rockies on May 10 to begin the month. Overall, he’s 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA this season.


AL — Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians

Brantley hit .419 (13 for 31) with two home runs and seven RBI in seven games from May 16-22. He had at least one hit in each game during the span and at least two in four. His most productive day in the stretch came when he went 4 for 7 with three RBI in a victory over the Detroit Tigers on May 21. He has hit .303 with nine home runs and 37 RBI this season.

NL — Garrett Jones, Miami Marlins

Jones hit .476 (10 for 21) with six RBI in six games from May 16-22. The stretch included going 4 for 5 in a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on May 20, when he had two doubles and two RBI. He had at least two hits in three games in the span. He also had at least one hit in eight of 10 games from May 12-22. He has hit .319 in May with two home runs and 10 RBI. He has hit .279 with six home runs and 23 RBI this season.


AL — Oakland Athletics

The Athletics went 5-1 in games from May 16-22. Their lone loss in the span came against Tampa Bay in 11 innings on May 22. They scored at least three runs in all the victories, and they had 11 and 13 in wins over Cleveland on May 16 and May 18, respectively. They were the first team in the majors to 30 victories, a feat clinched with a win over the Rays on May 21. Oakland owns a major-league-best 18 road wins in 25 tries.

NL — St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals went 5-1 in games from May 16-22, the only defeat coming at the hands of the Atlanta Braves on May 18. St. Louis held opponents to two or fewer runs in five games during the span. The run is part of a larger streak that includes eight victories in 10 games from May 11-22. The Cardinals are second in the National League Central at 26-21 and trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 1½ games.

(Clockwise from top left) Cleveland’s Justin Masterson, Atlanta’s Ervin Santana, Washington’s Anthony Rendon and Detroit’s Andrew Romine are this week’s coldest pitchers and hitters.


AL — Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians

Masterson went 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA and eight walks in starts against the Oakland Athletics on May 18 and Baltimore Orioles on May 22. The right-hander allowed 12 runs and 15 hits with just three strikeouts in those appearances. Both failed to extend beyond 5 2/3 innings. He’s 2-2 with a 5.90 ERA in five May starts. Overall, he’s 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA this season.

NL — Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves

Santana went 0-2 with an 8.25 ERA and five walks in starts against the St. Louis Cardinals on May 16 and Milwaukee Brewers on May 21. The right-hander allowed 11 runs and 19 hits in those appearances, and he lost consecutive starts for the first time this season. The 10 hits allowed against the Cardinals were the first time he surrendered double-digit hits since he gave up 11 in a no-decision against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 25, 2013, as part of the Kansas City Royals. Overall, he’s 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA this season.


AL — Andrew Romine, Detroit Tigers

Romine went 0 for 14 in four games from May 17-22. The slide is part of a larger slump that included a 0-for-19 stretch in six games from May 12-22. He has hit .143 in May as part of a .173 average with two RBI this season. His best showing at the plate so far came from April 18-22, when he hit safely in five consecutive games.

NL — Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

Rendon hit .091 (2 for 22) in six games from May 16-22. He went hitless in four games in the span, and he never had more than one hit in the contests that he reached base. He has not produced a multi-hit game since going 3 for 5 in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 6. He has hit .169 in May after he earned a .312 average in April. He owns a .259 average with five home runs and 25 RBI this season.


AL — Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox lost seven consecutive games from May 15-22. Before then, they had lost no more than three in a row this season. At 20-26, they are one game out of last place in the American League East, just ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Boston is 7-12 in May, better than only the New York Mets’ 6-14 mark for the month.

NL — San Diego Padres

The Padres went 1-5 in games from May 16-22. They lost four consecutive from May 18-22, matching their season’s longest losing streak (also happened April 1-5 and April 29-May 3). They’re in fourth place in the National League West with a 21-27 record. They’re last in the majors in runs (143), batting average (.221) and on-base percentage (.278). They haven’t won consecutive games since claiming four in a row from May 9-13, three vs. Miami and one at Cincinnati.


Likely, you haven’t heard of Jon Griffin before this week. Most times, minor-league players exist in the distance with only the most prominent prospects receiving more than a passing glance before they reach the majors. But Griffin, a first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Double-AA Mobile BayBears, deserves recognition for something spectacular. He smacked home runs in five consecutive at-bats, a feat that started with four against Tennessee on May 21 and continued with another in his first appearance at the plate against Tennessee the next day. He has hit .285 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI this season in the Southern League. Here’s a tip of the cap to you, Jon.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at